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The 2019 Ford F-150 Limited Offers Better-Than-Raptor Performance

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 5 days ago Dave VanderWerp
a car parked on the side of a road: The updated 2019 Limited is the most luxurious and expensive Ford F-150. It's also the quickest, with a new, more powerful version of the EcoBoost V-6. © Michael Simari The updated 2019 Limited is the most luxurious and expensive Ford F-150. It's also the quickest, with a new, more powerful version of the EcoBoost V-6.

What It Is: The revised-for-2019 Limited model represents the ongoing quest by Ford's marketing department to find just how high they can stretch the high end of the world-beating F-150 pickup truck. So last year's $62,855 Limited gets a number of changes and a price hike to $68,630. One of the most important is inheriting the more powerful 450-hp, 510-lb-ft version of the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 from the Raptor, which means that although all-wheel drive is a $3425 option, it's required to harness all that power. Other than the driveline, this top-trim F-150, a luxurious transporter of up to five that just happens to have a cargo bed, comes mostly one way: a four-door, feature-rich crew cab with stretch-out space for all; a short bed; 22-inch wheels; and in one of just four available colors (red, white, black, or silver).

Why We Tested It and How It Performed: The revised engine catapults the F-150 up our all-time leader board, making it the second-quickest production pickup we've ever tested, slower only than the 500-hp, Viper-powered Dodge Ram SRT-10 from 2004, which is shocking considering that this F-150 has more than two feet of additional wheelbase and is 455 pounds heavier. At 5.1 seconds to 60 mph and 13.7 seconds in the quarter-mile at 102 mph, it's also more acceleratively endowed than the 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 in the top-of-the-line Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, far quicker than the fleetest Ram, and more than a half-second quicker than the last F-150 we tested with the standard-strength twin-turbo 3.5-liter.

But that part was mostly expected. Almost more impressive is how the brakes and 22-inch Pirelli Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico tiresyes, these are all-seasonshaul this 5594-pound luxury liner down from 70 mph in a mere 168 feet. You know what also stopped in 168 feet? The last Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk we tested, which was wearing Pirelli P Zero summer rubber.

One key difference between the F-150 (and all of this latest crop of fast and luxurious pickups) and the old SRT-10, however, is that today's trucks are electronically limited to speeds that they can very nearly achieve before the end of a quarter-mile. The Limited has but 5 mph more to give after 1320 feet of hammer-down time, whereas the SRT-10 could terrify its driver to the tune of 153 mph. On the highway, cruising along at 80 mph, the Limited is at all times less than 10 seconds away from its top speed. And that's including the time it takes to mat the throttle and for the gearbox to execute a 10-to-6 downshift. Sluicing through traffic with Type A aggression, one might reach top speed a half-dozen times on a morning commute. Not that we know anyone like that.

What We Like: We're suckers for performance, certainly, but the Limited is more than a quarter-mile rocket. The twin-turbo V-6 continues to impress in its off-the-line responsiveness in day-to-day driving, where it never feels laggy or off boost. And this truck is genuinely, legitimately nice inside. Not just pickup-truck nice but luxury-grade nice, with gorgeous wood trim, a stitched leather dash, a soft microsuede headliner, and comfortable high-grade-leather front seats that have heating, ventilating, and massaging features. Plus, the back seat is decadently large. And the 36-gallon tank means that even at the 14 mpg we averaged with the truck, it can travel more than 500 miles on a tank.

What We Don’t Like: We could do without the oversize chrome placard on the center console bearing the name of the trim level, which is in addition to the various other badging reminders that you went all the way in the F-150 lineup. Although still an excellent-driving truck, slight quivers from its underpinnings that manifest though the steering wheel make it feel not as structurally stout as the latest competitors, particularly the Ram. The Ram is also quieter at highway speeds, where the Limited displayed noticeably more wind noise and tire thrum. Where we wish the Limited was louder is in the engine department, as the EcoBoost emits a rather monotone low rumble that doesn't match its stirring accelerative performance. The 8.0-inch infotainment screen is looking a little undersized these days, too, especially in light of the Ram's 12.0-inch monster. And this is a lot of money to spend on a pickup, more than two times the F-150's starting price.

Verdict: A silly-quick and luxurious pickup that is, probably only momentarily, the most expensive F-150.
 

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